Worship Meets The Modern Era [part 1]

Bands everywhere, in churches and on the road, are using in-ear monitors while they perform. It’s simple: everyone in the band has a metronome click in your ‘headphones’ to keep the tempo steady (we’ll get into what exactly ‘in-ear’ monitors are in just a second). If everyone plays to the same tempo, they will sound more professional and tighter- MUCH tighter. Here’s the thing- some band guys might say something like this: Continue reading “Worship Meets The Modern Era [part 1]”

Micro-Tilt Install (Fretless Jazz Bass)

This blog is dedicated to the tender love and care of a Fender Jazz bass belonging to a friend of mine that has been converted from the standard fretted model into a unique fretless version. The nut height, the neck angle, and the bridge setup were all still setup for a fretted bass guitar. This presented a bass that was hard to play and only had a marginal sound. I was asked to take a look at this bass to see what I could do to bring it up to speed.

First things first – I measured the string height at the nut and it was way too high for the proper fretless feel. So, I had to file the nut slots nearly all the way down to the neck to get them close enough. Since you don’t have a huge fret in the way, you can go much lower with a fretless neck. Continue reading “Micro-Tilt Install (Fretless Jazz Bass)”

Les Paul Jimmy Page Re-Wire

The first time I tried to wire the Les Paul with Jimmy Page style wiring, I burned out the internal wipers in the volume pots (the volume was either full-on or only partially down – it wouldn’t cut completely off). Plus, I had some ground buzz problems. I was content to live with these issues for a little while – I mean, for most rock guitarists with a Ernie Ball VP Jr. (passive volume pedal), who needs to turn off the volume anyways?! A few months of this and I couldn’t take it anymore. My OCD tendencies took over and I had to shield and re-wire everything. Here are a few things that I’ve recently acquired that made the job infinitely easier:

Xytronic 168-3C Soldering Station – the best solding tool available for guitarists (be sure to get some quality resin-core solder and 26 gauge wire)

Copper Shielding Tape – makes shielding the control cavity almost too easy

A Good Wiring Diagram – I’ve found several fantastic graphical wiring diagrams from Seymour Duncan – check out their complete free database

A Cardboard Jig – use this to aid in wiring everything but the grounds and pickups before installing (cut a piece out of the shipping box for the soldering station – recycling, ftw) Continue reading “Les Paul Jimmy Page Re-Wire”

Les Paul Graph Tech Nut Install

Ever had issues with your string binding on the nut while tuning only to have them go horribly flat (especially the “G” string) once you’ve starting wailing and bending notes?! I have had this problem on my Les Paul for years and I’ve just lived with it as part of the Les Paul playing experience.

I’ve recently built a new project Telecaster (body/neck from Warmoth.com) and had Graph Tech style nut installed on the Tele neck and it plays like a dream without all the tuning problems. This made it impossible for me to go back to the “tuning hell” of playing the Les Paul. I decided it was time to upgrade the low quality plastic nut with a high-end nut from Graph Tech called the Black Tusq XL. After searching the ‘net for a good deal on Graph Tech stuff, I found a seller on eBay with a good selection of guitar nuts. I bought two just in case I happened to ruin the first attempt (cheap insurance).

Installing a nut was way easier than I thought. Graph Tech has a fantastic walk-thru for this sort of thing (with big pictures)! It’s one thing to read this manual of sorts, but it’s another thing to actually do it. So, here are the highlights of how I did it. I started by removing the strings and the truss rod cover – check out the cheap plastic nut and the graphite paste I was using to cut back on the binding. Continue reading “Les Paul Graph Tech Nut Install”